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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  April 11, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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people feel. that still has to be taken into account. the country is much more conservative. most social issues than liberal. >> the center is still vital in the country as a whole. is just not vital in politics. the senate elections look at what happened -- liquid happened to lisa mutowski and mike castle in delaware and what might happen to pour in hatch --orrin hatch in indiana. ..
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>> this week on "q&a", filmmaker ivan kander and his friend rob jones discuss their documentary "survive, recover, live, the rob jones story." c-span: ivan kander, why did you do a documentary on your wounded buddy from high school? >> i feel like it came from a natural -- a natural place. when rob got back to bethesda, he kept telling me that he wanted to remember everything that was happening. things were happening so fast. he was going to surgery every day. from that idea of wanting to remember, that natural inclination to make it. i was always working in video and we were making movies together since we were young. it felt like the natural, right thing to do. even if it didn't turn out to be a documentary or finished
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product, at least we had footage that he could remember that time of his life and go from there. c-span: rob jones, why did you let this friend do this documentary? >> guest: it was a good opportunity to let people see the process of recovering from something like that. i had never seen anything available that cover that topic. c-span: when did you start it? >> guest: we started filming actual footage two or three of weeks after rob got back to the states. then we started doing on camera interviews a couple months after that when he was actually not going into surgery every day. it wasn't effective of a recovery process. c-span: what are the extent of your injuries? >> guest: i had a left knee this articulation. a right indication. c-span: is that it now? that's enough.
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how many different operations did you have to have two get to where you are today? >> guest: this is a -- i don't remember the exact number, it was pretty much every other day for two or three weeks, and then one more. then i had two surgeries were they replaced my eardrums that had become ruptured. c-span: you are a graduate of virginia tech university. at what point in your university time, did you go into the marine corps? and why did you enlist? >> guest: it was during my junior year. my original plan was to join the reserves after my junior year, finished college, and then go to ocs. then i decided just to go to iraq instead, and i liked being enlisted and then i got back from iraq and went straight to afghanistan. c-span: ivan kander, we're going
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to run the entire documentary on this our program. it is about 25 minutes plus the credits on the end. how did you shoot it, and how many hours did you shoot? >> guest: i honestly have a lot more footage than i ended up eating. i probably have 15 to 20 hours is footage. i never made a short movie over 15 minutes before. it was my goal not to do anything too long, i wanted to keep the story concise. i wanted to keep it in a coherent package. c-span: where did you get the tidal? >> guest: the title is "survive, recover, live." that is straight from rob. i forget exactly when he said it, it was a couple weeks after you got back to bethesda. it was very soon after he was injured. that was his philosophy, and that was your title right there. c-span: what did you think of "survive, recover, live"?
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>> guest: it is probably a couple weeks after i was wounded. i remember i had put it on facebook. i had internet access at the time, so it was probably two weeks after i got wounded. c-span: a lot of the story is set up and told in the first 11 minutes, which is the survivor part of this. we are going to run the whole 11 minutes, then we will come back and have you guys fill in the blanks. >> guest: that sounds great. >> hello and welcome to the first annual. [inaudible] >> harry doing? >> i'm doing very well. >> we have an exciting match up today. >> let's posit this writer. this is a story about my friend rob. that is me and him in high school. you see, i'm the cliché, it a nerdy kid who watched "jurassic park" too many times. he had an ill conceived idea that he could be the next steven
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spielberg. rob was there, every time. supporting me. like i said, this story isn't about me. it is about him. >> once he graduated, i figured we would be famous, making amazing films for all to use the period we would be unstoppable. times changed. hey, how are you doing. great to be here tonight. >> he has a great personality. rob stood out from all of us.
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he had an explosive personality. he was goofy, he was outgoing as all -- i've never met anybody quite as outgoing. he has quirks about him that are very persistent. >> everything he did 100% then. he brought a charisma to the whole team. he was always ready, never missed a period everyone was dead tired, but he never missed breakfast. >> he was really fun in a group of people. everyone looks towards him for the fun and party. he was always pushing everyone around to be better. >> he never got mad. he always volunteered to do stuff, and everyone looked at him and said, where you get this energy and optimism from? >> recently there were some elections, the republicans took back the house of representatives, but you are still seeing the election
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stickers around even though they're over. these stickers stick around for a long time. the other day i saw vote washington 1776. [laughter] >> july 22, 2010, we were at afghanistan and i was with a squad. i was basically clearing a path for them, and i stepped on -- i got hit by an ied. >> the first thing, you hear the boom, the next thing you hear is him cry out in pain the second thing i heard was him -- you know, if i've lost anything special, shoot me. then the guys tell him that he hasn't lost his private parts and he is good. >> i was pretty much right on
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top of it. they took my room left leg and right leg. >> i thought he had lost a lot more because when i picked up his leg, in my minds eye, i am seeing his knee down, and of course, i probably was looking at the upper shin down. >> sometimes i feel like i probably should have in it or maybe i brushed my elf, i should've seen an indicator or something. >> he was coherent, he had more feeling in his system. the company commander came up and told us that two of our guys have gotten hit. one of them was jones and the other one was jones. we didn't know which one was hit and how bad. we heard pretty bad stories. >> the reports originally came back that jones was a double entity. it is usually assumed to be
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legs. then it came back that he was a triple amputee. then there was a lot of mixed up because there was another jones from the same union. we were waiting across the river in afghanistan, they call for seven volunteers to go out there. i was one of the ones who went out there. we were setting up in a tree line just to keep eyes on, and that's when i got hit. >> we thought it was a mortar that they were shooting at us. we started walking back quicker, right as we got to -- about 25 meters from our truck, the started pulling stretchers out. >> i haven't gone through the paperwork to find out the details, but i guess i have all i need to no. >> i didn't even recognize him with all the mud and dirt and blood on his face. it wasn't until five or 10 minutes later that it was actually rob and daniel, they're both very athletic and into working out. they would both go to the gym together.
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they would call themselves jim jones. grueling workouts. >> very good friends. inseparable at times. if you're getting made fun of by one of them, they sit there and feed off of each other and escalate it, escalate it, escalate it. the both of them were always reading books and interested in learning, outside of their scope that they're used to. >> we were almost right across the hall from each other. that is when it hit me that he had actually been hurt. >> love you, miss you. i can't wait to get up and hang out. [inaudible] take care, buddy, i will see you soon. [inaudible] >> he can hear you.
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>> the person you have to do is design a workout program to get on our feet again, and then we have a really good time up there. i can't wait you, take care. peace. >> if there is any good that came out of it, it was good that i had someone there that was going through something like you were so you could talk i to it i think it made me stronger. i had to be tougher. he was there, he would talk for hours and it made me feel better. >> recently there was a tornado, unfortunately, in the midwest. it actually ended up killing eight people. luckily, the tornado was apprehended by police. it was since -- sentence to life sentence with no chance of water vapor. [laughter] >> after i did a year of college
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at virginia tech, i went back and finish finished my last year. my job as a combat engineer is to find in any situation -- an ied. >> robin a couple of guys were out there and we found some weapon caches and we are digging things up all day. don't get any sleep that night. a couple days later, it was fine. i don't want to see a shovel, i don't want to pick up another 100-pound ammunition, i want to get showered and rob was the only one that was like, you know, let's take a break. rob grabbed his rifle and he always had that personality. they keep trying and keep pushing. such an optimistic way, and he never got knocked down by
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anything. he inspired the whole unit with his personality. >> he was the reason why i made it back here that there is anybody that was going to follow the procedures, went step-by-step and never spat it out, that was him. we still don't know exactly what it was that he had done, but there is no doubt in my mind it was one of the hardest ied's. >> when i joined the military, and want to join anything but the marine corps. i was taken in by the commodity and match everything that the marine corps stood for. >> i always wanted to be a marine. i'm not exactly sure why? the main thing about the marines was the leather head. >> i wanted to join because i wanted to fight and there is a saying that a true soldier doesn't fight for what he hates, but because of what he loves and left behind. rob really personified that.
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>> the people i was over there went -- i mean, you become close to them. every second of every days with them. you have no choice but to bond with them and get along. you come back here and it is easier to have someone who has gone through the same types of things that you have gone through. >> i felt like as long as there were marines fighting, i should be over there with them. i didn't join the marine corps to stay in the states. i joined the marine corps to do the fighting. i like the brotherhood of the marine corps. it is very essential to the friendships that i have made. i can always depend on them and they can depend on me. i would hop out of this wheelchair in a second if i had to, if they got an eye or something. i don't know how i'd do it, but somehow, it was because of our time together and we went through all these different experiences together. >> that is also what corporal jones said.
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we were the family and we were continuing. >> we got phone calls saying that rob got hurt. we drove down to the hospital. immediately, even though he was drugged up on morphine, you could still see that he had the same personality. he was still joking around with. >> for being as drugged up as he was, -- that was the first time we got to our selves, thank god he is alive. c-span: ivan kander, were you when you had heard that rob jones had been injured? >> i was right here near sober spring, and i received a card from a mutual friend to let me know that rob was injured. the odd thing about that call was, honestly, i was very sad to hear that my friend was injured, but at the same time, it was a relief that he was still alive. that was one thing that was very clear about that interaction --
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rob was still alive -- he was injured, but still alive. i was very happy to hear it. c-span: when did you play this documentary for your students and friends in the county which is right out here in the suburbs? >> guest: we played it on the 18 year anniversary. >> what was your reaction having worked through that in public? >> guest: the crowd was merely people that i knew, but there were a lot of people that i had never met before. they were very supportive. when i came in, they clapped for me and everything. the mayor of the town gave me a plaque that said rob jones day. i got a quilt, and i have never been shy about doing things in public, it didn't really bother me. c-span: when did you 21st meet?
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>> guest: i believe it was in middle school right around eighth grade. it was around eighth grade, they start calling you a bye last names. i was always the first k. in the alphabet. from then on, we became good friends. definitely in middle school sometime. c-span: how much did it cost to make this? >> guest: they pretty much cost me nothing, because i already own my own good anyway. i arty on my own equipment anyway. >> where are you working now? >> guest: alexander hamilton. a consulting company. >> why did you agree to to do this in the first place? would you want to accomplish by this? >> guest: the show? c-span: not this show, but your own documentary? >> guest: i just want people to see what they go through after their wounded in afghanistan.
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>> if i happen to inspire anybody i'd doing the documentary, by doing the documentary, i just try as hard as i can to recover as well as i have. that is a bonus. c-span: let's go over the details again of your service. when did you go to the marine corps? what was your first gay? >> guest: my first day was may 17, 2006 to. c-span: how long did you serve? >> guest: well, technically i'm still in. waiting for my medical board to finish. it has been about five years. c-span: you went to iraq. for 67 month's? >> guest: we went from january january 2082 may 2008. c-span: you were a corporal? >> what does that mean?
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i'm a lance corporal. c-span: what is sending? >> guest: and what was your assignment in iraq? >> guest: he supported an infantry unit. c-span: how close did you come in iraq to being wounded or stepping on an ied or getting a combat situation? >> guest: there wasn't really a whole lot going on in the part of iraqi we ran. the most dangerous thing i did was handle ammunitions that had been buried in the ground. i guess they could have been booby-trapped, but we didn't have any reason to believe that they were. i think there was one hit that i
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was around any shooting. >> ivan kander, how hard was it to find all of those fellows that you talked to? >> guest: a lot of them were good friends of rob's. it was just a matter of getting in touch with them. i called them and said we wanted to get them on camera, and they were more than willing. c-span: how many people are still around when. >> guest: maybe two people. c-span: and dan jones, we only saw his head, we didn't see what lindsey had lost. what did he lose? >> guest: that is the interesting thing about the whole thing. he actually ended up not losing any limbs.
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he was listed as an entity in the first reports, that it came out that he had limited mobility in one of his legs and his arm, but he still has all his limbs. everyone was like, why is he wearing sunglasses when mackey is just shy to be on camera. c-span: what has been the toughest part of this for you? not the documentary, but the recovery? >> guest: the hardest part is probably letting people help me do stuff. c-span: you say that in the documentary. why is that so hard? >> guest: i have always been very independent and like to do things myself. having to let people move boxes for me when i used to be able to do it myself. that is hard to accept, but you start to get used to it at this point.
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c-span: had you ever thought about going into the service? >> guest: no, i have never thought about it. >> when you were at virginia tech, you always thought you would go into the service at some point. where does that come from in your life? >> guest: i had not thought about it until my sophomore year. i started as a computer science major, and i decided i really didn't want to do that for a career, so i was brainstorming about things i could do. a friend of mine had just joined, so i kind of started reading books about the marine corps just to see what he was getting himself into. i kind of liked what i was reading. so -- c-span: what is it about it that you like?
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>> guest: mostly the brotherhood, like i said in the documentary. it just seems like marines are extra close to each other, and they always strive to be better and to be the best that they can. being around those kind of people brings the best out of me as well. c-span: i think there was only one officer that i saw in her. how many of the other and -- enlisted marines have college experience? >> guest: pretty much all of them had some college experience. c-span: did you all talk much about why had they gotten to the service also? >> guest: not really. we just assumed we had generally the same reasons. c-span: as you were shooting this, did you run into any
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problems with people saying you can't bring the camera? >> guest: not really. there were a couple of instances when he was recovering and we had to bring a camera to a public place. there was nothing crazy. i think a lot of people are open to allowing me to record for that kind of thing because it is such an interesting story and it is about our country. c-span: the next segment is called the cover. what is this about? >> guest: each part of the title represents a part in the process. recover is about how he is starting to develop and get back to a routine or schedule. c-span: i don't see his parents. >> guest: for a couple of reasons. first, when i asked to interview his parents, they asked me not to include him.
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it was too soon after the accident and didn't think it was appropriate to be on camera. c-span: does he have other brothers and sisters? >> guest: he does have a brother and sister. his sister lives far away, she's hard to get in touch with. the brother did not want to be on camera. c-span: this is eight minutes and 34 seconds. the second part of a three-part documentary. >> is that at first. i couldn't sleep at all because i had nightmares every time i close my eyes. a normal person when they close their eyes, it gets dark. but for me, it would be like i was watching a movie and the movie was some weird hallucination or just a nightmare for a split second. i would relive the explosion, i would see my legs exploded on the ground. i would hallucinate really bad stuff like i was going out on
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patrol and i got shot, so the patrol was going on without me and i was stuck. another time i dreamed that i got hit by a board, and for some reason my mom was with me and it really hurt and i could see blood all over the place. those were the worst times. >> we were standing up around him as he was lying down, trying to talk to him, there were maybe five guys here. he's telling us about what he is seeing and what he's thinking. he visualized a couple of things. i'm fighting off these aliens right now. they're walking around and now there's zombies and he looks up and sees me and my friends, he said oh, great, you guys are here too. he said you guys are falling to the ground. he said good luck, guys. then he would get quiet for a
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minute. i just got back from japan. he still had a good sense of humor. >> i wanted to get a funny hat for my mom because i thought that if i was wearing a funny hat the first time she saw me, it would take the edge off, a little bit, she would see my leg and she would see the funny hat and wouldn't be able to help that laughed and put herself in a good mood. but we weren't able to find one. when i got to bethesda, there was my mom with a pirate hat in her hands. somehow they had found out that i asked for a funny hat. she brought me one. >> it is really hard to accept at first, but, you know, you take what caused you to be like that and you realize that it is understandable. you have to get so much help.
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[music playing] >> the first thing they did was close my left leg and i had some areas wounds to my rear end, which were still open. they were deep. i would go into surgery every other day. the close of all my wounds, and then we waited five days to make sure the skin grafts took, and then they checked the grass, they saw it was good. the next day i got transferred because that is the place you go for prosthetics. you get these little things called stubbies, and they are about this big -- this tall, straight bars. you're on those for a while because, obviously, you are relearning how to walk. you want to keep your son or a gravity level. then they heighten you a little bit, and it is still a straight bar. they change the foot bed is on it, a foot that flexes, so you
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have an angle, almost, and then after you master that, you graduated to a new height. the first type away but you have is a computerized or late. after that, you get a mechanical leg, which works on your own power. after that, you just come in until you're ready to get this. there is a different sensation -- it is different than when you feel your limbs that aren't there anymore. your brain is confused. it thinks that your limbs are still there, but they are not. your cells are misfiring. sometimes when you go to sleep and you accidentally go like this and you can't fill your arm, imagine trying to move your fingers like that. you can imagine that your arm is there and that your fingers are there and you're trying are
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trying to move them, but they won't move. no matter how hard you try. >> the whole thing hasn't been all that difficult. kind of just going through it. >> he would have humor at all times. if a guy can relax when his legs are blown off, you know, there is something special about him. when they found out that they had not and do in iraq, he was a static. even when the president gave him the purple heart, he asked president obama if he had known do. he met when you're in the first time with a company, -- we were out in the middle of nowhere. we didn't have a lot of food, everybody was getting sick.
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>> i remember rob was so happy. as i'm the next day, he looked like crap, but he was so proud he hadn't puked yet. >> i'm very proud of that fact. >> i like to be the one that is taking care of other people. i don't like having people taking care of me and stop. >> would have been? >> ied. it's a combat engineer's job to find out. i was looking for one at a time, and i found it, but found it in the worst ways possible. it blew up on me. >> the marine corps birthday is november 10. i want to be walking by then. i told her i would do whatever i have to do. i come down two or three times a day. a i did whatever she said i had to do in order to be walking by
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november 10. >> his goal was getting to the marine corps ball in november and be able to stand up and dance and he goes up in his wheelchair and starts walking. he talked about that everyday. it was amazing to see that. especially in such a short amount of time. >> there is the therapy world, which is where i am now. there is the real world, and the therapy world is very flat. everybody knows the plight the urine, so they can kind of lend a hand when you need it. then there is the real world, where there is all sorts of hills that i have to go up and down, there isn't always a railing when i need one. i have to get a specially adapted car, that has become more obvious to me now versus before when i didn't have any kind of disability. [applause]
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] thank you for letting me talk to that, and. [inaudible] think you. [applause] [applause] c-span: all right, let's get
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serious. did you have an audience? >> guest: no, it was a mock audits. c-span: did you have a mock audience? >> guest: that was all raw. he had this idea of shooting in front of a big audience. that's all rob. c-span: let's go back to july 22, 2010. a little bit more than a year later. since then, how many days have you spent in the hospital imac. >> guest: is a patient? >> probably about two months total. c-span: what time of the day did you step on the ied? >> guest: i think he was early afternoon. i'm not positive, it was pretty hot. ten did you have any friends that you saw this happen to before? >> guest: nothing that serious. a friend a couple days before
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got hit in the cheekwood shrapnel. a couple of other people got hit by ied's when they were in trucks, shaken of a little bit, but nobody had been wounded this badly. c-span: i understand you are looking for an ied? >> guest: yes, i was looking for one. c-span: how is it that you would -- what kind of devices did you use to avoid them and how is it that you get this one? >> guest: when you are on foot, you try to use intuition and eyeballs. i also have a metal detector. so i just kind of -- what happened on that day was that somebody had stepped on a separate one. they like liked what to write next week either. his did not go off like it was supposed to. i think it just hit the blasting cap which is a very tiny
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firecracker. they let us know that was an area that we were in danger. but it wasn't one of the classic areas where you would expect to be ied's, because we were being funneled by any terrain or funneled by anything. i think it was just some kind of a random place that they were hoping that they would get lucky and hit somebody. c-span: what is the first thing they do when you are injured like that? talk about the morphine and all that. when did they give you that working? >> guest: well, the first thing you need to be concerned with is making sure that the path is clear of ied's. any kind of other injury -- they don't want people to keep running up and stepping on more and more. that is what the taliban likes to do. they know that were going to run over there. the plant went here and when they are. people coming to help them get
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hit to. the first thing is to make sure that it's clear. the other people that have morphine -- they hit me in the leg then with some working. c-span: with that moment, the time you got back to bethesda hospital, where did you go? >> guest: i think at first i went to the camp in afghanistan, then i think i went to the air force base in afghanistan. from there i went to germany. from germany i went to bethesda. c-span: how has your friend changed since all this happened? >> guest: he hasn't changed at all. many people have postmen stress disorder, but rob is a same person since middle school. he is still my friend, which is
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the most important to me. c-span: would've you notice about your other friends reactions around rob? >> guest: rob, once you meet him, he breaks the ice quickly. it is easy to forget that he looks any different or looks different -- it won't be a big deal if we hang out people we always have. if we do that again, it will be the same calm robbery spinet when he started out to do the documentary, did you have a script? >> guest: the only thing i scripted was the opening and closing voiceover. that didn't happen until i had some footage to go with it. mostly i was shooting random stuff. then i let the story develop from there. c-span: what was your reason for doing this? >> guest: i really felt it was something that i should do. i say that in the sense that he was my friend. he was presenting a compelling story. as a storyteller my entire life, i felt that i should tell that story. c-span: you have any attitude
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about this work enact. >> guest: the one thing i was intent about was to not make this documentary about anything political or about the war. there are documentaries that cover that topic. i don't think a personal story about my friend would hold same weight as those. so that is how i kept it. c-span: now, you are still in the service and you are waiting -- you have a job? >> guest: my job is to recover. c-span: did you do your internship -- i don't remember what we talked about -- with the fbi? >> guest: yes, i've been going in for six weeks, i think, i go in on fridays right now. i'm still going into physical therapy for most of my time. c-span: woodie waiting for between now and whenever -- are you going to leave the marine corps? >> guest: i'm probably going to retire. i'm waiting for the physical of valuation board to deliver my
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physical disability and i will sign paperwork and that will be at. c-span: what is the overall view of the treatment you have gotten? >> guest: the treatment has been top-notch from the first day. the surgeons taking care of me there, the nurses were great. the physical derby has been unbelievable. the prosthetic care that i have gotten has been so good. i cannot say enough good things about it. c-span: you have other prospects besides which are rented a? >> guest: yes, i have legs that i used to ride a bike, legs that i use walk around in my room. i have legs that i'm going to try to use for rowing. i have running legs, and i have a couple of others -- some needs
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that i've tried before. c-span: have you gotten used to this? >> guest: yes, about as much as you can. c-span: are their computers in your leg? >> guest: yes, these have microprocessors in them. c-span: what is the servicing attitude about the future? for instance, a will you be supplied links for the rest of your life? >> guest: i'm not positive how that works. but i'm pretty sure that the ba will give me new legs and new sockets whenever i need them. i haven't really looked into how everything works, what i'm going to have to do. but i'm pretty sure that that is how it works. c-span: blast segment of the documentary is live. what was your approach your? >> guest: oftentimes in stories, you hear about people injured in combat and coming
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back, you focus on the initial survival and recovery. i did want to show a point that rob was actually living. the fact that recovery is not strictly about the first two months or a month after you've been injured. it goes beyond that for the rest of your life. c-span: did he ever say to you after that you put something -- that you can put that in their? >> guest: gave me full creative freedom to do whatever i wanted. it's pretty amazing he knows me really well that i would not do anything poorly or incorrectly. c-span: this segment is -- let's see, it is five minutes and 57 seconds long. it is the last of the three different sections. [music playing]
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>> rob had a positive outlook on everything. he realized he can't go back and change it, so make the best of it. when he first got in a wheelchair, he wanted to learn how to do tricks, spinning around and stuff like that. c-span: >> i think everybody knows he's better than that. he's incredible. his dreams may have just changed a little bit, but he is go going for it. >> i moved out to the outpatient housing for all the outpatients they have here. basically going through the normal progression of the prosthetic. i pretty much returned to as much normalcy as i was before. i don't think i will be completely normal until i get out of the hospital and get a job. until i put all this behind me. i have an internship with the fbi. once i get discharge, hopefully they will make me a job offer. i should be able to become a
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special agent after the physical fitness test. so i can put into the bad guys even though i don't have any legs anymore. i am planning to attempt a cross country bike trip. hopefully i'll be able to do that. >> i would like to get into, maybe some kind of paralympic sport like rowing. maybe they'll buy off the -- biathlon. [music playing] [music playing]
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>> he has a great attitude and a sullivan attitude to start from. now that all my friends and family have seen me with that great attitude, and i can't do anything, i can't change that because of the up-and-down. every time i ever start to feel down about my situation, when i start to feel sorry about myself, i remember that i have to maintain this attitude. it is really them forcing me to stay positive. rather than me coming up with some kind of inner strength to stay positive throughout the whole process. >> i recently put in an application for social security disability. i got denied. [laughter] >> yeah, that makes sense. i learned a lot about myself and
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perseverance. you have to keep going whether or not your circumstances are ideal. it is just the way things are. aegis have to go with it. >> he is never going to give up, and he is going to be successful no matter what you take away from him or throw at him. he is going to keep on driving. everyone is like he's so strong, yeah, he doesn't let stuff get to him. >> honestly, this has changed a lot of things for him. but it doesn't stop them from doing things he wants to do. >> if there's a wall, he wants to go and climb over it. >> no matter how much it affects them, he doesn't show it at all. his will pair -- his will power is amazing. >> my legs are something that i won't have ever again in my life. it is something different for the rest of my life. that really sucks.
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but i can't dwell on that because there is nothing i can do to change it now. >> what amazes me most about rob is what he represents. in the wake of something awful, the only thing you can do is keep on going. it is not some mementos thing of kurdish backed with swelling strings and a horn section. shortly after rob got his senses back and started the recovery process, he said it very simply, survived. recover. live. time to move on, time to keep going. it is often said that hindsight is 2020. he only way you can understand life is by looking at it backward. i have to argue that life is understood both ways, both forward and backward. without the surprises of the unexpected, the good and bad, life lacks flavor.
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if you know how your journey is going to end, if you know the punchline of the joke, really there is no reason to laugh. >> thank you so much could have a good night. c-span: i better make sure before this closes that you really are being denied social security in this process, are you? was that a joke or are you serious. >> guest: i was denied social security benefits, but i could've kept appealing and they probably would've eventually accepted. i know other people have been excepted that have similar
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injuries -- less severe injuries. but honestly, i don't care about it. i only applied for because they told me i should. c-span: what was the reason they gave you the viewer denied? >> guest: i don't remember the exact wording. , but i think it was something like they expected me to be able to work within 12 months or something. i don't remember exactly. i just read it. they deny me. whatever. c-span: will we do for the rest of your life? i expect there some kind of benefit. >> guest: yes, i will get virginia benefits i would get disability. i'm not sure what that includes moneywise, i will get that. the marine corps and the government, they do a good job
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of taking care of us after this happens. c-span: ivan kander, on the documentary side, if someone wants to see the whole documentary, how can they do this? >> guest: they can go to my website which is lucky, number nine, you can also go to c-span: what does your name stand for? >> guest: that became a name that stuck with me even into my current rational career. knight has always been my lucky number. that is the main reason. c-span: where did you get your college degree? >> guest: i graduated from george washington university in 2007. c-span: it was shot on what can a camera and edited on what kind of machine? >> guest: i shot it on a
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panasonic and edited on my home computer. c-span: in the field of the end product .-dot? >> guest: unhappy with the way it turned out. i'm proud of the fact the way it showcases who rob is very well. if you hang out with rob for 15 minutes, it is not getting a picture he isn't, it shows who he is. c-span: when did you hit bottom? >> guest: hit bottom? c-span: somewhere along the way come after your injury, did you get down and have a period of depression to . >> guest: not really. every now and then, maybe felt a little detective for a day, had a bad day. kind of bummed, but nothing too much at a time. c-span: two of your friends and family have the toughest time seeing you when you got that? >> guest: i'm sure it was my mom and my appearance. c-span: are they doing now?
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>> guest: they are doing fine. handling it pretty well. c-span: what are the chances you're going to get this job with the fbi? >> guest: that will depend on a lot of things. how well i perform an internship. whether or not they will even be hiring at the time that i am finished. whether they have any openings in the place that i want to go. i kind of stopped. c-span: in regards to your recovery, how much therapy do have on a weekly basis? >> guest: i do the internship for newsweek. i usually go around 8:00 o'clock or 9:00 o'clock. 1:00 o'clock to 2:00 o'clock. an hour lunch break. c-span: what kind of things they had the doing now? >> guest: most of the things i'm doing now is related to triathlon training and rowing
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training. but at first they have you do a lot of strengthening of your court and hit lectures untrimmed flexors, so you're able to control your limbs and they do a lot of balance practice in -- when you first get knees, they teach you how to use them. then you progress to harder stuff until you are ready to be done. c-span: we are going to run the credits on your documentary, and they lost about four and a half minutes. as we run them, we will keep our microphones open and i will do some quick definitions of the people that we see. when we roll those, and we will wrap this up. >> guest: thank you.
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[inaudible] if you're throwing something like a football where you were sitting there during a bolivar, i'm sure he was there today, i'm sure he was here today, he would be able to catch this with his capabilities. c-span: ivan kander, who is that? [inaudible]
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c-span: associated with that town of beth -- so >> guest: who are these folks. >> guest: these are people who helped me get on and get going. c-span: your parents are? >> guest: my dad and my step mom. c-span: who is stephen carroll miller? >> guest: my mom is on the right. c-span: stevie miller is? >> guest: my little brother. c-span: how old are you now? >> guest: i'm 25.
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>> guest: i'm 26. c-span: how old is your sister? >> guest: she's 29. c-span: she probably doesn't like that we are getting that news way. >> guest: she's helping out. she came with me on a couple of trips. c-span: who is whitney robin? >> guest: she is a friend who is very supportive. extended family. c-span: stepgrandmother? [laughter] not everybody gets one of those. i went to the high school, that was a very good venue to show. [talking over each other] >> guest: exactly. the school made that possible as well. all the conglomerates of people who have helped out.
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c-span: people send money to help now? >> guest: people can send money if they want to donate. [talking over each other] >> for injury, i used to go to the gym a lot. someone else would walk into the locker room and say oh, put your pants on. [laughter] >> guest: all the music was donated to me. i didn't have to pay, i have the rights. >> if i lean back, my legs are stuck. [laughter]
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>> these are all my family and friends who have helped me along the way. c-span: is this the end of? >> this is the end. .. c-span: general, we're out of time. thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much for having us, thank you. ♪
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>> for a dvd copy of this program, call 1-877-662-7726. for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at qq&a programs are also available as c-span podcasts. >> this year's student cam competition asked students across the country what part of the constitution was important to them and why. today's 3rd prize winner selected the 19th amendment. >> the right of citizens of the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or by any state on the count of sex. >> generations of courageous women marched, they fasted, and
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they were arrested. >> congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. >> for a time, they changed america. >> the 19th amendment to the united states constitution was ratified on august 18th, 1920. the constitution allows state to determine qualifications for vote, and for awhile, states disenfranchised women. it was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement. >> i am a citizen of this country and this culture and the only way i participate fully is by voting. i feel it's my right and also my responsibility to vote.
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>> susan b. anthony drafted the amendment and first introduced it in 1878. it was 41 years later in 1919 when the congress submitted the amendment to the states for ratification. a year later, it was ratified by the regulated number of states with tennessee's ratification being the final vote needed to add the amendment to the constitution. >> the 19th amendment was ratified with the perfect 36 state, which happened to be tennessee, the last state to make it, three quarters of the states needed, 48 at the time, 35 did it, the rest said they would not, tennessee was on the spot, became the perfect 36 and gave women the right to vote. >> the convention in new york is traditionally held at the start of the american women's rights movement. suffrage was not a focus of the convention; however, and its advancement was minimal in the
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decades proceeding the civil war. the movement took hold after the war after the reconstruction era. during this period, women's rights leaders spoke in favor of suffrage as a civil right in the reconstruction amendments. the 13th, 14, and 15th amendments. despite the efforts, the amendments did nothing to promote women's suffrage. >> for too long, women in most countries, like i mentioned, my mother before, she didn't have the right to vote where she came from. it's only here, and so in a dplok like this, we have to treat this as a great honor. >> continued settlement of the western frontier along with the establishment of territorial constitutions allowed the issue to be raised continually at the state level. existing state legislatures began to consider suffrage bills
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and several held voter referendums, but they were unsuccessful. efforts at the national level persisted through a strategy of congressional testimony, petitioning, and lobbying. >> the equalities that we, as americans, enjoy today are the result of those great, courageous americans that fought for our liberties. >> the 19th amendment's text was written by suzanne b. anthony. the amendment was introduced in the u.s. senate as the anthony amendment by senator airplane a. sergeant of california. he had frequently attempted to insert women's suffrage provisions into unrelated bill, but did not formally introduce a constitutional amendment until january of 1878. stanton and other women testified before the senate in
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support of the amendment. the proposal sat in a committee until it was considered by the full senate and rejected in a 16 to 34 vote in 1887. not until 1914 was the constitutional amendment, again, considered by the senate. it was again rejected. >> so i think it's very important that women have this ability to choose what it is they think is important for themselves and not have it thrust upon them. >> another proposal was brought before the house on january 10th, 1918. during the previous evening, president wilson made a strong and widely published appeal to the house to pass the amendment. it was passed by the required two-thirds of the house with only one vote to spare. the vote was then carried into the senate. wilson, again, made an appeal, but on september 30, 1918, the proposal was two votes short of
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passage. on january 10th, 1919, it was voted upon again and failed by only one vote. >> didn't give women the right to vote and a lot of other problems, and that took a lot of efforts and civil rights and women's rights and human rights, and all to bring us to where we are getting today. >> there was considerable desire of politicians among both parties to have the proposal ahead part of the constitution before the 1920 general elections. the president called a special session of the congress so the proposal would be brought before the house again. on may 21, 1919, it passed the house. on june 4th, 1919, it was brought before the senate and after a long discussion, it was passed with 56ayes and 25 nays. within a few days, illinois, wisconsin, and michigan ratified the amendment. their legislatures being in session. other states followed suit at a regular pace.
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until the amendment had been ratified by 35 of the necessary 36 state legislatures. on august 18th, 1920, tennessee narrowly approved the 19th amendment with 50 of 99 members of the tennessee house of representatives voting yes. this provided the final ratification necessary to enact the amendment. >> when we become a force, a big voting block, people are going to listen to you, and i think even employers are going to listen to you in a different way. they see women in a different way after they've gotten the votes. >> if my entire family didn't vote, i wouldn't have the same understanding of the importance of voting like i do now. >> finally, in 1920, the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. it took more than seven decades
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of civil disobedience to achieve the change that they felt. >> go to to watch all winning videoings and continue the conversation about today's documentary on our facebook and twitter pages. >> just over 30 years ago, sandra day o'connor was legislated to the united states supreme court by ronald rage p, making her the first woman to serve on the court. in 20 minutes, the now retired justice discusses her career along with three current justice ginsberg, sotomayor, and kagan. >> our specific mission is to work to see that human rights are a central component of american foreign policy, and that when we evaluate our moves
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globally, human rights can never be the only situation, but it has to be part of the dialogue. >> she's the president and ceo of the lantos foundation for human rights and justice. >> when we abandon our deepest values, and whether we talk about torture relating to the war on terror or the policy with russia and the upcoming issue whether or not the u.s. congress should pass the accountability act, which is, we don't need the details of that policy issue, but whether or not we're going to stay on record as saying human rights matter. they matter in russia. they matter in china. >> more with her sunday night at 8 on c-span's "q&a." [applause] >> republican presidential candidate mitt romney was in hartford, connecticut earlier today saying president obama's policies are bad for women because of the economic
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policies. holding the presidential primary tuesday, april 24th. [cheers and applause] >> we welcome you here today. i should tell you that your campaign did not know when they called me last week that what my political affiliations were, and they never asked me. [laughter] >> i won't do it now. [laughter] never ask a question you don't know the answer to; right? [laughter] you're here because we're a woman owned business and a small business. we think that you are uniquely qualified to lead us out of our national debt crisis and solve the economic problems we have. my interest as an employer of 24 people and the grandmother of 11
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grandchildren, i'm concerned about the next 10-20 years, and the next four years so that they don't have to worry about paying the national debt. so, welcome. >> thank you. [applause] >> like to introduce the republican party committee chairman. [applause] >> thank you, karen. hello, connecticut, what a great day! [cheers and applause] we are pumped. [applause] i can't think of a better place to kick off a presidential general election campaign for our republican nominee than right here in hartford, connecticut. [applause] we planned it this way all along.
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[laughter] governor romney is caring to connecticut a message of economic freedom, fiscal responsibility, and energy independence exactly what we need here in connecticut. i would like to introduce to you a man that i am proud to be supporting, the next president of the united states, governor mitt romney. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman, thank you. please. [applause] looks like they got a seat for you right there. there you go. length ofall right. you're in good shape. what do you think, karen, can we fit a couple more hundred people in here? >> you get legislated, we'll expand the place. [laughter] [applause] >> out of the hallway. we were just outside there, 200 or 300 people there, just had
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the fun of speaking to them. there's a very enthusiastic interest in seeing some new leadership, the president's campaign slogan was hope and change? that's changing now to let's hope for a change, all right? [cheers and applause] i had the -- there's so many dignitaries here. mr. chairman, do you want to introduce all the folks here? no, no, okay. congressman shays and ambassador, senators and others here, old friends and new. i appreciate your joins me for this event. i had the opportunity to meet with the business owners here and why they are standing here behind me, we spent a half hour or so talking about the businesses. each of them is running a business as an owner and manager of an enterprise of one kind of another. one in construction-related projects, another in consulting,
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another in printing as you just heard and so forth, and as we chatted, it was very clear that they don't feel the government is their ally. each of them said it would be nice if government got out of the way, and i asked them to be specific in which ways government could get out of the way, and they went through various things that the government does to make it harder to be a woman in business or a small business person generally, and i hear that as i go across the country. small businesses i meet with, i hear the concerns they have that the government that perhaps out of a sense to help makes it worse. the worst thing to hear is i'm from the government and i'm here to help. what makes us the engine we are is not government telling us how to live our lives, how to build our enterprises or how to grow
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them, but instead it's free people pursuing their dreams in the way they think best, and if you allow -- [applause] the real war on women is waged by the president's failed economic policies. can i borrow that, karen? we handed these out. i don't know if you saw these, but these are just statistics showing just how severe the war on women has been by virtue of the president's failed policies. the number of jobs -- an amazing statistic -- the percentage of jobs lost by women in the president's three years, three
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and a half years, 92.3% of all the jobs lost during the obama years have been lost by women. 92.3%. now, the president says, oh, i didn't cause this recession. that's true. he just made it worse. [laughter] made it last longer, and because it lasted longer, more and more women lost jobs. such that in his three and a half years, 9 #.3% of the people who -- 92.3% of the people who lost jobs have been women. his failures have hurt women. more information. what president has the worst record on female labor force participation? president obama. in history, we've gone back 20 years, the progress made of more women getting into the work force has been stepped back 20 years by virtue of this president's policies. under president obama, 858,000 more women are out of work. 858,000 more women out of work under this president, and timely
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the total female unemployment rate went from 7% when he took oches -- office to 8.1 pact. this president failed america's women, and if i'm the next president of the united states, i'll work to get american women rising jobs and growing businesses. [cheers and applause] thank you, thank you. [applause] the president's failure for women of small business is not just a statistic. these are real people and real policies. he adds to the deficit and uses that money not to create private sector job, but to protect government, he failed to get americans back to work with the so-called stimulus.
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another problem. he passed dodd-frank. all right, now does anyone here think that dodd-frank made it easier for community banks to make loans? no, no. as a matter of fact, the banks that have become bigger under dodd-frank are the big banks, the too big to fail banks. community banks, normally that lend to businesses of this scale are having a hard time under dodd-frank. i spoke with one head of a large new york centered bank, and they had hundreds of lawyers implementing dodd-frank. hundreds of lawyers. banks at the community level can't afford hundreds of lawyers, and to social security caused the business sector, the loan sector to pull back at the time we needed them to step forward, they had to pull back. there was the president's labor policies, everything from trying to force unions into businesses that neither the employees or employers wanted them, which was card check, and then the national labor relations board
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saying if you're right to work state, you can't have a factory from boeing as they tried to do in south carolina. scared the dickens out of a lot of employers. employers are worried about gasoline prices. one of these women here described to me the fact that they have a business that has a lot of trucks -- how many gallons? 300 gallons a day i think she said. correct me if i'm wrong. you, andy? yeah, yeah, 300 a day. a penny a gallon savings doesn't help when you have 300 gallons a day that you buy. these high gasoline prices, why so high? they say, well, because of the speculators. well, the speculators, they make investments into what they think the future price of gasoline will be, and as they look at the future, they look at what the president's doing today, and what he's doing today is making it harder to get oil out of america. he's cut back by half the number of licenses and the number of permits that are provided on public lands to drill for oil.
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he held off on drilling in the gulf. he's, of course, not drilling in anwar, even natural gas to be used as a transportation fuel ultimately, that fuel is being held off in part because of the epa trying to get into the fracking regulation business making it harder for us to rely on that source of energy. if we want america working again, we need a president to get america energy secure and take advantage of our energy resources, cut back on obama era regulations, cut back on trade policies making it difficult to go into the markets, crack down on china when nay take our jobs, have a president to balance the budget. i'm going to be the best president for small business and jobs for women and men of this country. [cheers and applause] [applause]
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the other day the president said something i agree with. it happens every now and again. [laughter] he said it was going to be a defining election. i agree. there's dramatic differences between the two of us. his vision for america is a social welfare state where he promises bigger and bigger chacks from government to almost everybody. my vision for america is a land that is free and filled with opportunity. if you're looking for a bigger check from government, he's your guy. if you're looking for more freedom, more opportunity, good jobs, rising incomes, a bright future for your kids, vote for me, and i'll get that job done for the american people. [cheers and applause] now, you've been standing long enough here. you could go all day, i know, stay away from work and whatever -- [laughter] i just wanted to say a couple
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things. one is i've had the privilege over the last year of going across the country and meeting with people like these women here and men and women of all backgrounds and interests, and i'm more enthusiastic and more optimistic than ever. i'm afraid if all you did was to watch the evening news, you might conclude things are getting worse and worse in america, feel skeptical and cynical about the future. my view is that's wrong 6789 as you meet, not the people in the news -- the people in the news have done something unusual, tiply not good. they are politicians or people doing bad things, and, well, i'm being redun adapt. [laughter] i get to meet everyday americans who are beginning to work, entrepreneurs of various kinds, people who are thinking about how to make a life better for themselves. one the women here, for instance, indicated that she and her husband had a service station, the economics didn't
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work well having a service station, just one, and so they changed it. they went into a car wash business, and now they have a couple. that's doing well. we're inventive, creative people. if it's not working, we turn something to make it work. that's how the economy works, by the way. the liberals have an idea if a few smart bureaucrats in washington can guide the whole economy, tell us how the run the enterprises, pick the winners and losers and they can give them $500 million like in solyndra and think they do a better job than individuals pursuing their own ideas getting capital for the families and banks and begins enterprises and let the marketplace determine which succeeds and fails. that's what worked, by the way, but these guys think government works. they are wrong. the right course for america is not a larger and larger government trying to guide our lives. it's a larger and larger embrace
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of freedom and opportunity allowing individuals to pursue happiness. that's the way the founders intended it. i happen to believe the founders were both inspired and brilliant. they said that the creator had endowed us with our rights, not the state, not the king. the creator. among those rights were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. don't forget we're free to pursue happiness as we choose. our freedom is not just that we have the ability to choose who will represent us in washington, but also the ability to choose our course in life, and those freedoms brought people here for hundreds of years seeking opportunity, seeking freedom, and that built the most powerful economy in the world. sometimes people say how come europeans have such a lower standard of living? the average american has a 50% higher income than does the average european. why is that?
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well, the dna of humanity is the same. the difference is, in my view, those principles -- freedom, opportunity, and when government intrudes, it kills what makes america the power house it is. the president says he wants to transform america. i don't want to transform america. i want to restore to america the principles that made us the nation that we are. [cheers and applause] >> this -- [applause] this president will do in the campaign anything he can to deflect from his record. what i'm going to have to do every day is bring him back to his record and show, for instance, that the policies of this administration have led to 92% of the people who lost their
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jobs are women in this country. when he says, oh, there's a war on women, let's bring him back to the fact that it is the real war on women waged by his economic policies. let's hammer day in and day out what's happened under his policies and recognize those policies, those things he believes do not work. roomed rage p use the to -- ronald reagan used to say effectively this, it's not that liberals are ignorant; it's just what they know is wrong. [laughter] that's what you're seeing. i don't think the president's a bad guy, but his political philosophy is wrong and doesn't work for the american people and is hurting the american people making it harder for the economy to recover. i want to return to the principles of our founding. they are not only empowering to the american people, but strengthen our economy, give us hope for the future, make sure that the children that are in our homes have the future we hope for them. i love this country.
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i love the people of america. we're the greatest nation in the history of the earth. it's time for us to stop apologizing for success here at home, and we'll never apologize for success abroad. [cheers and applause] i want to thank these women for standing here and spending some time with me. i thank them for the fact that they are business owners and managers in leading enterprises. i thank all of you entrepreneurs and laborers of all kind. i appreciate the american people. as you fight to make your jobs successful, you lift america, our economy, and make it easier for us to care for our seniors with the taxes you pay, to build good schools, that strong
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military to protect us, hard working americans of all kinds make this nation the nation that it is. i appreciate the work that you're doing. i am going to solicit your help because i need your help to get elected. i need you to vote multiple times. [laughter] the only way you can do that legally is by talking to your friends and telling them to vote for me. [laughter] i want to bring back what we have always experienced in america. i mean, we've always known that there's something special about america. what makes it special is different to some of us, but it's special to all of us. there was always been a time that you stand a little straighter, taller because you know that we have a gift no one else in the world has. we're americans. we know that this nation has done more to free other people from tyranny than any other nation in the history. we know that our policies, our promotion of freedom and opportunity as other nations adopted those things, that those people lifted people from
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policy, and we've done more to help people out of poverty than any other people in history. it's an extraordinary land we live in with a great legacy and gift given to us by those who founded this great country. we're at a critical time. as the president says and as i say, we're at a defining time. the question is to we turn left and be like europe or restore the principles that made us who we are? that is the vision for america. bring back freedom, bring back opportunity. stop scapegoating americans. stop attacking fellow americans. stop trying to divide us. we're one nation under god. i'll unite this country again to ensure we remain strong and always the hope of the earth. thank you so much! thank you, guys, thank you. [cheers and applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> now we go live to the tribute to the former justice celebrating the 30th anniversary of our nomination and confirmation to the supreme court. it's expected to get underway momentarily. [applause] >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i'm greg joseph, president of the supreme court historical society, and i'm delighted to welcome you this evening to the
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society's celebration of the 30th anniversary of the first term of justice sandra day o'connor on the u.s. supreme court. [applause] we are deeply gracious to have justice o'connor, justice ginsberg, justice sotomayor, and justice kagan, the first time they joined together for a public program, and we're grateful they have done so this evening to join in this celebration. we also want to thank jim duff, the ceo of the freedom forum and freedom forum for making this space available to us at the museum this evening. jim, long prior to his being ceo at freedom forum, has a history with the supreme court historical society dating back to the time of his administrative stance and before
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that, chief justice berger. i also want to thank society president frank jones for his generous donation to support the events this evening. frank was a distinguished president from 2002 to 2008 and only because of illnesses he is not with us this evening. our panel this evening consistents of the four women who to date served on the united states supreme court. even to summarize each of their careers with highlights would take far too long, so i'll be very brief. justice sandra day o'connor was nominated to the court by president ronald reagan on july 7th, 1981, and she was confirmed by the senate on september 22, 1981 to succeed justice potter stewart. she served for 24 years and retired on january 31, 2006. justice ruth bader ginsberg was
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appointed by president william clinton on june 14th, 1993, and she was appointed and confirmed by the senate assuming her role on august 10th, 1993. justice sotomayor was appointed by president obama on may 26th, 2009 assuming her position on august 8th, 2009. the following year, justice kagan was appointed by president obama on may 10, 2010 and assumed her position on august 7th, 2010. we're honored and grateful to bring all of them together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ground breaking tenure as it began with justice sandra day o'connor. turn off cell phones and blackberries, and i'll turn the program over to jim duff. >> thank you very much, greg. we're delighted that the stream
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court historical society is having this celebration of justice o'connor's 30th anniversary of her appointment to the supreme court here at the museum. we're honored you're here with us this evening, justice o'connor and pleased and honor that justices ginsberg, sotomayor, and kagan are here with us tonight. it's the opening night of the museum, and couldn't have done better to celebrate that i'd say. we don't have a quorum, but enough to grant certs here. i don't know if there's anything to consider, but we'll move on to softer questions i think. justice, your nomination as the first woman to serve here op supreme court 30 years ago was historic, and also a very closely guarded secret.
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william smith writes that hiding you and a meeting at dupont circle in front of a drurg store. >> well, he wanted me down at the white house to meet with the president. he had asked me to come back here and meet with some of the president's close advise eres -- advisers, which i did, and he rented hotel space someplace downtown, so that we could meet that day, and members of his cabinet, several of them had come, and they were able to ask questions, and so then at the end of the day he said, and the president would like to see you at the white house this afternoon. i never had been to the white house. i never had seen it. i didn't know where it was. i said, well, where is it? [laughter] and he said, well, i can explain it to you, but he said, i'll tell you what i'll do.
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i'll ask my secretary to pick you up, and she has an old green chevrolet, and she'll pick you up on dupont circle if you're there. i had a meeting there of an organization to which i belonged, and so i went out on dupont circle, waited, and here came the old green car, his secretary picked me up and drove me to the white house. we were admitted, and we made our way in due course to the oval office, and it's so small. i mean, it's such a shock to get in there. we think, oh, my gosh, this is the white house? the president's office? it's a tiny oval place. [laughter] we sat down and talked, and it was very pleas sam. he was -- pleasant. he was very easy to talk to. >> yes, yes, that's great. >> that's how it started. >> these days we see lists emerge, and there's not so much secrecy around it. there's finalists, and do you think that's because it's just
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more difficult to keep a secret as to who is being considered or is it just a different approach? >> i think touring the museum today, they'll tell you i don't think you can keep secrets in washington. i felt -- i think that's impossible. >> was it a goal of you to become a justice? >> oh, heaven's no, goodness no. [laughter] it certainly was not. i was not sure what i ought to do because it's all right to be the first to do something, but i didn't want to be the last woman on the supreme court. [laughter] [applause] >> thank goodness for that. >> if i took the job and did a lousy job, it would take a long time to get another one. it made me nervous about it. >> you paveed the way for great justices. when did you think about it? >> when he sent them to arizona
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to talk to me, and they wouldn't say what it was for, and so it could have been some cabinet post or something like that. they wouldn't tell me. they had nice visits, but they've done a lot of home work out there going through the papers, and i've served in all three branches of arizona's government. they had a big paper trail to go through, i guess. >> who were your role models? >> for what? [laughter] >> for -- you were a trail blazer. >> goodness. >> you're the role model for everyone else i suppose. justice ginsberg, where were you in your career, and was there special meaning for you at that point in your career? >> it was a moment that, one of those places in life where you remember exactly where you were
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and how you felt. i had been on the dc circuit for exactly one year, and i was driving home, turned on the news, and the news was -- >> oh, for heaven's sakes -- >> it was sandra day o'connor, and i was about to cheer, but no one would hear me. [laughter] and then i found out what i could about this great lady including what she made when whoever came with it, met her in phoenix, and i read what i knew that she'd be head of the senate in arizona, trial court, immediate trail court, and you had been to a conference on
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federalism -- >> yes, and i had gone there a couple of those meetings with people from the british isles and judges. remember that? i've gone to a couple of those. i certainly was not well-known in the judicial community of the nation. >> justice sotomayor, where were you in your career? >> i was almost at the beginning. my second year after graduating from law school, two years after i graduated, in the da's office in manhattan, and i remember having conversations at lunchtime in that awful yale cafeteria talking about how long it would take for a woman to be appointed to the supreme court. >> yeah. >> and there were bets being taken whether it would happen in our lifetime or not so the
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unlikelihood or the fact that it was something we were not sure of speaks of how historic it became, and two years later, sandra was appointed. >> what did it mean to you at that time in your career? >> well, in law school, there were no women on the supreme court. there was no woman on the court of appeals in my state, new york, and most large law firms that, at that time, were a few hundred lawyers, and today there's thousands, but back then, there was still a number of them with no women lawyers whatsoever. >> right. >> and so for us, and in my time at law school, we took the -- the doors were opening, and they were very, very small openings, and so the idea that the barrier had been reached so quickly was sort of an inspiration to think that more could come.
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>> uh-huh. >> and that certainly opportunities for us would grow, and so they, obviously, have because ruth followed, took too long, but elena and i followed there shortly after. >> this is fabulous to have all of these women on the court. >> that it is indeed. [applause] >> i will say for president reagan when he was campaigning to be president, he didn't think he was doing too well with the female votes, and he started making statements about if i'm elected president, i would like to put a woman, a qualified woman on the supreme court, and he made enough of those statements that then about four months after he had become president, potter stewart, justice stewart retired, and there he was faced with what to do. [laughter] >> with what he said.
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>> yeah. >> well, he was a man of his word. >> he was. >> justice kagan, where were you in your career? >> well, i was still two years shy of going to law school. [laughter] hate to rub it in. [laughter] even i knew enough to be impressed. i just graduated from college actually, and i remember the announcement and thinking -- >> that's interesting. >> did it have particular meaning to you? had you thought at that time of going to law school and becoming a judge or justice? >> i was thinking about it. it was one of the things i was mulling over, but i -- i remember the announcement and feeling very inspired by it. >> you clerked for justice marshall when justice o'connor was on the bench. >> that's true. >> what was that -- was that of particular meaning to you? >> yeah, she was a formidable person, even a clerk knew how
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formidable justice o'connor was. >> well, i hope not. [laughter] >> are you going to tell your joke? >> about what? >> the cats. >> oh, okay. here's my justice o'connor joke when from i was clerk. [laughter] justice o'connor founded an exercise group. >> yes, indeed. >> she liked to have women clerks come to the exercise group. >> yeah. >> and i failed to come to the exercise group. [laughter] >> i noticed. [laughter] >> well, that's the story, in fact. [laughter] i used to play basketball up stead. >> yeah. >> i used to play basketball. >> that's fair enough. >> instead of the exercise group. one day i tore something in my leg playing basketball, and i was on crutches for a few week, and the day after this happened, i was on crushes, walking down
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the hallway, and justice o'connor was walking the other way, and she stopped, and she said, what happened? i said, well, you know, i tore a whatever, i tore it playing basketball, and she sadly shook her head, and she said, it wouldn't have happened in exercise class. [laughter] >> i'm sure that's true. [laughter] >> i was a failure too because you encouraged me to attend the class, but it was at eight o'clock in the morning. [laughter] i'm a night person. [laughter] >> i told you the same thing. [laughter] >> i have not done too well getting them to class. i still have my class. >> i was going to ask you that. >> it's still going on, and i went this morning, as a matter of fact, at 8 a.m.. [laughter] it was good. it really meant a lot to me to have that class. that just really mattered, and all of the years i was in arizona, i had an early morning
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exercise class. >> you were a trail blazer in many ways, and that exercise class at the supreme court was one of the first in that regard. what are you doing for comers now? >> i go to my exercise class. [laughter] what do you mean? >> are you still golfing? >> yeah, once in awhile. i'm not good, and that's not much exercise, you know? >> yeah, it is for me. i do a lot of walking. >> oh. [laughter] >> how do you enroll in that or enlist in your exercise group? >> see me. [laughter] i got justice breyer up there a few times, but he didn't want to be the only man. if you join too, maybe we can get it going. >> we could. president reagan signed your nomination to the court on august 19th, 1981, and you were confirmed by the senate on september 21st, 1981 by a vote of 99-0. you took the oath on september 25st, 1981, and we have
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certainly seen remarkable changes in the appointment and confirmation process since then. do you have any observations about the current state of the nomination process and what -- >> well, it's less likely to be 99-0, i think. there seems to be a little more controversy than there was at that time. at the time, i went on, i think it was expected that whoever was the incumbent president would fill a vacancy on the court, and if he didn't have horns or look too frightening, may confirm the nomination. i think it's changed a little bit since then. i'm sorry so say. >> and justice ginsberg, you have more recent experiences with it. do you have any observation, and justice sotomayor, do you have any observations about the
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process? >> well, it was a much different process with sonia than it was for me because i was the beneficiary of the senate's judiciary's committee embarrassment over the nomination of justice thomas, and they wanted to ensure they were civil. >> yes. >> they wanted to ensure there was women on the jew dish -- judiciary committee, my hearing was rather dull, and the vote was not 99, but it was close. it was 96 to 3. >> uh-huh. >> justice breyer was also a beneficiary of that atmosphere. i mean, the senate back in 1993 and 1994 was truly bipartisan. >> uh-huh. >> senator hatch was, i think, the biggest supporter on the committee. so i wish we could get back to the way it was in those years.
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>> what about your experience? >> i think what we have fall p prey to is the public's expectations that there are answers to every question, that a hearing is going to be a place where a judge says you or nay to whatever social issue, an outcome, an individual member of the public believes it. i think as long as that expectation continues to be fed by both the pundits who examine our records, routinely about how we vote in certain issues or not, but we never satisfy anything with the system that currently exists because the reality is if what you're attempting to do is to get clear
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answers how we rule on cases that are coming before the court, i think you are going to be suspicious if you have a nominee who says this is the way i'm voting. >> right. >> that suggests that person comes in with a premade up mind and an unwillingness to listen. having said that, i at least found that my personal meetings with the senators were very civil by and large. >> okay. >> and so that extent, it was easier to deal with the sort of public grilling that i received, and knowing that it was each of us playing our role for purposes i wire were different because it did become role-playing in front of the cameras, but i don't know that we're going to be able to satisfy people as long as the expectation of what they are expecting from the process remains the same.
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uh-huh. justice kagan, do you have -- >> well, there's no doug that the two of us experienced a different process from the two of you. i remember thinking at one point during the process people were asking me what i thought of all the things justice ginsberg was wrote, and i was asked as much as she was asked, and, you know, isn't there enough that i have to answer for? [laughter] but, you know, i wish there were more bipartisanship in the current process, but that said, i do agree with justice sotomayor that senators of both political parties, i thought, treated me fairly and respectfully and it's -- it's such a shame it's come to a pass where people, republicans feel as though they can't vote for the nominees of democratic presidents and vice versa. >> this may be more of an issue with the appellate and district courts, but do you think it would be helpful if the senate
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imposed a rule on itself of a time frame to vote up or down on a nominee? because some of the appellate and district court nominees drag on for over a year in the nomination process. >> i figure you're right it's a problem for the court of appeals and district courts. sonia, you had experience with that? how many years between your no - >> it was nothing really, and i don't think it was elena's either. >> i mean for the second circuit. >> oh, that was 22 months. >> yeah. a supreme court nominee is short. it gets top priority and goes through in a matter of weeks. >> right ring right. >> but it's still the case, it's been the case for some time, that you can be nominated to a court of appeals and wait months and in this case 22 months. >> i had 18 for the district
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court as well. >> wow. >> the waits can be terribly long. >> if they would put a time limit on themselves, and then vote up or down and move on, that would be helpful it seems. justice o'connor, when you arrived at the court, i recall an atmosphere of civility on the court at the time, i think of justice powell and others and continues certainly to this day, and, in fact, i know justice thomas spoke last week at the university of kentucky which won the national basketball championships just recently here. [laughter] >> you noticed? >> yeah, yeah. he commented he's never heard a harsh word or unkind word spoken in conference with the conference in which the nine justices meet. how important is civility in the work of the court, and -- >> well, i think it's vital.
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it's a small group of nine, and i think it's exceedingly important that everyone be polite and kind and pleasant to each other. i think that's vital. you have to disagree on the merits of things, but you can disagree agreeably, and i think that's very important, and the court does well on that score, i think. >> how is it preserved when there's turnover on the court? i know, i think, claire with the historical society has written in her book, "court watchers" that, for example, justice ginsberg was given the manual to assist you, and are there other ways in which -- >> i didn't know there was a manual. i mefer got one. [laughter] >> finding out out r all the secrets. >> it was the internal operations within his chambers. >> oh, within his chambers k
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okay. >> he sent it to me in the dc circuit and said don't open this until you are confirmed, but when you are confirmed, maybe it will be of little help. >> oh, good. >> my first job every year is to update it and i gave my manual to sonia and elena when they came on board. that was of tremendous help. >> there's wonderful civility in the court and in recent times that's been strong attribute of it. do you think the other branches much government should emulate it? is that possible or are they so different in structure? >> it's just different. you just have nine members on the court. it's a small institution, and they live and work in quarters that cause them to see each other frequently, and i think
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it's very, very important that the relations remain cordial and friendly, and they have. we're lucky. >> there was a time when the senate was known as the gentlemen's club, when there was a great deal of cor yalty, and that's lost. >> that's gone. [laughter] >> justice ginsberg remembers the other day when we were having this conversation about why there's more civility in more recent times on the court than perhaps in its earlier history. do you remember what you said, ruth? perhaps she doesn't. >> no. >> she said it's because we've had women for the last -- [laughter] my guess is that's especially true of justice o'connor. justice thomas told me we have a tradition on the court where we eat lunch together after we hear
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arguments and after we have conversation. it ends up being 8 or 10 or 12 times 5 month, and justice thomas told me if he ever went a couple of days without going, justice o'connor appeared at his doorsteps and would say, clarence, why aren't you there? it's lunchtime. you know, you encouraged everybody to participate in those kinds of communal activities. >> yeah. >> i think that's very important. >> i do too. yeah. >> justice ginsberg, was justice o'connor's presence on the bench of particular help to you when you joined the court? >> yes. [laughter] adviser, big sister, she told me a little bit, just enough for me to get by in the early days, and then i came to her with a problem when the chief made assignments at the end of my
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first sitting, the legend was that the junior justice gets an easy unanimous case. >> yeah, yeah, that's right. >> but the old chief gave me a miserable case in which -- [laughter] in which the court had divided 6-3. >> oh, yes. >> i went to sandra thinking that you would persuade her, her good friend, chief, to revise the assignments, and so i told her, and she said, ruth, you just do it. [laughter] she said get it out before he makes the next set of assignments. [laughter] that's really her attitude towards life. she just does whatever needs to be done. >> when justice o'connor and you were on the court together, you
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were called justice o'connor on more than one occasion each term, and advocates seldom seem to confuse justice scalia and justice breyer. why do you suppose that was the case? during your joint tenures. >> i think the most likely to be confused would have been justice suter and justice breyer. >> i know because they look something alike. they could have confused people. ..
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>> you know the story about the national association of women judges and the reception after my appointment? they presented a t-shirt and a
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red eyed senator ruth,. >> i once saw an argument with her -- the lawyer confuse the two justices. it might've been justice sotomayor who was confused. a few minutes later, they confused two men on the floor. i think that the second most purposeful. they had done it once, and aren't he wasn't going to do it again with gender neutrality. >> that is the difference. two of us have not been confused. >> i think it was you and i headed but that is also understandable because we talked into areas of the court, and i
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have been told you cannot always hear where the voices are coming from. >> what are your biggest challenges in court? all of you probably have different kinds of challenges, but justice o'connor, you being the trailblazer -- >> trying to write opinions that not only deal with the issues, but in a way that is useful and will be long-lasting. that is a challenge. it really is. many of these issues are issues that have been in the lower courts in total that disagreement. they are things that matter, or the court wouldn't have had to take them. when you have to put down on paper, permanently, the tests that you're going to apply and see how it works, that is a challenge. every single time. you really want to do it well.
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you won't know until many years have gone by how well you have ceded. you just can't tell instantly. >> for me, opinion writing was new. i had been on the dc circuit for 14 years. what was in it was the death penalty. i had no idea that the supreme court, which deals with so many applications, and it was a whole new thing. >> justice sotomayor? >> it was walking into a continuously running conversation. that you are a newcomer to. i can't say how many times
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during my first year a justice would explain her position, and questions would be coming out of left field. it would take just as stevens or sometimes justice alito who would see and notice. what are they talking about, to lean over and say what is this that they had about x., y., z. >> that went on frequently. i remember the first time when elena kagan came in and she said what are they talking about? [laughter] there was some sense of satisfaction i could actually explain something. but it is when you are working with the same other eight people -- the same nine people working together. it is a long running conversation at times.
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coming into the middle of it can feel just like that. he met very interesting observation. i remember justice brennan, he had been on the court for a couple of decades at that point did he said the thing about serving so long is that you have seen on these cases before. the issues are very similar. they, year after year. the ongoing conversation. it it is a very astute observation. elena kagan, you are a veteran now. you still -- are you adjusting, are there still challenges for you? >> everyday is a challenge. for me, i had never been a judge before. just figuring out the mechanics of the job, i have these four clerks, what do i do it on? what is the best process for drafting an opinion? when do i read the brief? do i read them the day before come the week before? all these things which my
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colleagues figured out what works for them, i was very much lesser and continuing to experiment and figure out what works for me. >> serving as solicitor general, did you find that help will? >> hugely helpful. you are just sort of looking at the court from a different vantage point. but really spending all of your time thinking about those nine people and what they're doing. sometimes i think that the job doesn't really change at all, but as solicitor general, my life is spent trying to persuade nine people and now it is spent trying to persuade these people. [laughter] >> justice o'connor and justice ginsburg, you both served as the only female on the court during a period of time. you both, as i recall, expressed another female appointee at the
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time. it may be obvious, it should be obvious, given this conversation. why is it important to our country and to the court to have that? >> maybe you haven't noticed, but i think about 51 or 52% of the population are female. [laughter] [applause] >> and i think that they know this. they notice when the public bodies are dominated entirely by one sex. i think that women care about that, and they should. so i really think that is part of the deal. >> it is, indeed. when you joined the court in 1981, the court heard 184 cases that term. it heard 82 cases last year. >> is in that amazing? it just shows that they're not working very much. [laughter] >> as they would think, do these
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young kids have it easy? >> they do. it was a devastating amount of pork. i will tell you. you had to go through a all the petitions and that was new to me. i couldn't do it quickly. i could after many years and when i had seen them before, but that was hard. to have so many opinions to deal with was very challenging. >> i would like everyone to know that i still work -- i don't think the job is any easier. i do think -- one thing has been reduced substantially. and that is an old days when they were hearing 150 cases, you would get these opinions were some of them would announce the judgment of the court, an opinion in which justice so and
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so talked about this. i think they're fewer cases that are talked about in regards to this now. >> i agree. >> in regards to an external observation, i would say that the opinions are crisper and cleaner and easier to understand these days. probably better for the court. there are several theories as to why the court is hearing fewer cases. everything from fewer conflicts among the circuits to differences -- i guess my question is, are there mechanical reasons internal to the court as to why this may be the case as well? >> i would be interest did to hear that too. i'm not sure why the number of cases the court is granting our fewer. i think the numbers petitions
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are still high. [talking over each other] some justices are working just as hard because there are so many petitions, over 8000 year period and. and i didn't mean to suggest the were working hard. >> i'm not sure how you managed. i know i'm not the best where i am. i know because i have looked at many of the studies and these discussions about why the court is taking lesser numbers now. i wasn't sure when i read the studies that i really found any reason that was the reason. even being a part of it now, i don't think court purposely -- >> there no conscious effort. >> we don't look at the number and say we can't take more then
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this number this year, so we are going to turn this case down because it adds too much to our workload. i know that for myself. i can only speak for myself. but i am very conscious about is this a case with procedural vehicles or not. a lot of those cases that i read from years before, the court wasn't even reaching the issue that it should have because there were vehicle problems that they were addressing and resolving and never reaching the substance of questions. >> there is one contributor. it is not the whole park, part, but it is a large part. until, was in 1988? there were still many brushed aside cases. where the jurisdiction was mandatory. for advocates for several rights
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-- civil rights, you could go to the core, challenge anything that was unconstitutional, and then you could go directly to the supreme court of appeals, skipping over the court of appeals, that, i think, is the end of the. [inaudible] >> that must be part of the reason. there has to be several reasons that the numbers have dropped you that could be. >> the current court appears to be more active in questioning than previous courts. statistics have been gathered in that regard. is it a different manner of judging, is a personality driven? are the courts -- i know you
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don't disclose what goes on inside the conferences, but does that add to the initiative to ask more questions from the bench and communicate with each other through questions from the bench? how would you explain the increase in the number of questions to the bench during oral argument? >> maybe women ask more questions -- i don't know. [laughter] >> i think it was on the rise even before there were three -- >> women and also the law professors. >> law professors, that's right. >> it is getting to be a matter of individualism. when i was in the justice,. [inaudible] came to see me. and he said ruth, i want to give you some advice. it was given to me by justice black when i was a justice. he said, don't ask any
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questions, because if you don't ask many questions, you won't ask many. [inaudible] [laughter] >> would induce a? >> i was not intimidated by that. he was disappointed when i didn't take his advice. [laughter] >> we hear a phrase now that washington is broken, and the observations usually made about the legislative ross s., which appears to be at an impasse in many difficult issues, even the budget is difficult to pass, copper mines appears more typical. but that has never been a phrase used in the judiciary sense. why do you think it works well
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in comparison to the other branches? is it because you make decisions and not avoid them? or take them down the road? how would you explain the differences? >> one thing is we don't set our own agenda and we don't have an initiating role. we are a totally reactive institution. we can't say this is the year they were going to take care of the fourth amendment. i think that is part of it. we don't have a platform and we don't have an agenda. we are reacting to petitions that people bring to the court. >> i think we have to explain our reasons and not just in a cursory fashion. i think justice o'connor, you wrote something about this a while back.
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he said that almost every judge has an internal drive with consistency of some sort. you don't want to be arbitrary yourself. i think that that makes us, in some ways, less reactive to -- sort of what is happening outside of our courtroom to the legal issues that we are watching develop and participate in. >> what would you say the attributes are of a good justice? >> what advice would you give the young women and men in the audience who might aspire to be a judge or justice someday? >> you have to think clearly, the reasonable and rational
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will, you have to write well, and just have a sense of fairness, i think. all of those qualities come in, and others as well. it is a challenging job to be an appellate court judge and to try to explain well your reasons for everything you do. that is very challenging. >> i asked justice o'connor if she had a role model. she pointed out in her own way that she was a trailblazer, probably didn't follow the pack. but i will ask the other justices, who is your role model? and please couple that with the question about how important it is to young women today to see you on the bench of the screen court? >> the senator and i are not
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always judges. very few or our lawyers. we never saw a woman teacher, and we never -- there was no title vii. they were upfront in saying -- voters were upfront in saying that they are not interested in a woman. the change has been enormous. >> guest. >> i couldn't get a job when i got out of college. >> i mentioned this to you before, justice ginsburg, one of my best friends had you for course in law school at columbia. he said you were the best professor he ever had. [applause]
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>> he must not have been in any of justice kagan's classes. i didn't know anybody outside of harvard. [laughter] >> it is so important. i think we all agree to see you on the bench and you are an inspiration, not just to my daughter, but to my son. the way you all go about your work is wonderful for the country. i will talk about other questions. justice o'connor, and you said he worked with civic education, which he said is one of the most important works in your life. i tried to debate you on that point -- >> i know. >> but there has been so much discussion in public venues
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about the judicial branch of government and activist judges. i used to think it was a judge that would get up and go to work in the morning, but people have other ideas about activist judges. much criticism, and it seemed to me that it was primarily a lack of understanding by many people about the role of the judicial branch. of course they had to decide questions we don't like and wish weren't there, but it is not the judges who are bringing the rings -- these things. i really thought that we needed to enhance the education of young people about how our government works. the reason why we got public schools initially in this country was the argument that we had to teach young people how our government work. about the system, how it was developed, how it all worked and how people can interact within that system.
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we were finding that barely one third of americans, including young people, good name the three branches of government, much less say what they do. the percentages of people who understand how the system works are so small. there is a real job to do. we had a conference at georgetown law school, and we had wonderful people participate. they talked about the problem, and it did boil down to lack of education. i got some people together and we started a website called i -- it is geared to young people, middle schoolers. young people spend about 40 hours a week in front of a screen, whether it is television or computer. i only need about an hour a
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week, and that would be fine with me. we developed some games with the help of some wonderful teachers who knew what principles needed -- to be included in something for that age group on the subject. we succeeded in producing a fabulous website. i spent a lot of time trying to get it in use. we have chair people in all 50 states now, and we are getting about 5 million hits a day. that is not nearly enough. but it is a good start. it is taking effect, and it is very effective. >> that is wonderful. we are going to devote a lot of time here at the newseum to civic outreach programs. we would like to work with you on that. i have to ask a first amendment question. we walk in this building, and the tablet on the front of the building is a first amendment of
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our constitution. we had a visitor here visiting with a friend of mine. he was from russia, and he walked through the building and observed some of the exhibits. he said we have free speech, free press in russia too. but the difference is here that you are free after you speak. [laughter] >> that was a rather profound observation. but there is a very substantial reason for that. it is an independent judiciary that protects us -- our first amendment rights and our bill of rights and distinguishes us from others. do any of you have observations about the importance of that? and our system of government? >> it is tremendous leap important and also fragile.
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in the very beginning, there was a cartoon after the revolutionary war with some. [inaudible] being hauled off. the caption is freedom of speech or liberty of speech for those who speak the speech of liberty. it wasn't until the last century that the first amendment became a major item on the supreme court docket. it wasn't in the beginning. the performance was nothing to rave about. it was about when we won cases and when people charged the offenses related to what they were saying -- about the country's political situation. i think it is in part due to some pretty great justices.
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the law of the land. >> i think we would all agree that the country is far better off that all of you have served and are serving on the supreme court of the united states. we are very grateful and honored that you would be with us here this evening in celebration of justice o'connor's anniversary for appointment to the supreme court. thank you for being here. greg, would you like to? >> join me in thanking justice o'connor, justice ginsburg, justice sotomayor, and justice kagan. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause]
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>> we also want to thank jim and the freedom forum for making this partnership a wonderful event. we look forward to getting together again. i would also like to thank those of you who are members of that historical society who help put programs on like this and to tell those of you that it is not too late. there's plenty time. supreme court there is a perception in the atria and -- the atrium. and with that, we are adjourned. [applause] [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> we will have "book tv" in prime time tonight starting in a little over 30 minutes on c-span
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two. we will start with the following books. earlier today, secretary of state clinton had a foreign minister meeting. iran, syria, and the mideast peace process were discussed. this is about five minutes. >> once again, welcome to the historic blair house here in washington. i greatly appreciate this
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opportunity to discuss in person the many global issues that require joint leadership from the nations. the events of this past year even of just this past week, affirmed the continued need for comprehensive international cooperation and the g8 is a central forum for that. we are alarmed for the ongoing violence in syria, and we are concerned about the problems facing special envoy. [inaudible] as he attempts to bring about a cease-fire and the end to violence. we are very watchful of this. this will be on our agenda. this will be on our agenda. later this afternoon, we will look for ways that we can
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together try to bring about a peaceful resolution of the current situation and a political transition. for the sake of the syrian people, we also look forward to the beginning of the ne of the d of peace talks in turkey, these talks are an opportunity for iran to address seriously the international community's concern about its nuclear program. and we believe there is still time for diplomacy, but it is urgent that the iranians come to the table to establish an environment conducive to achieving concrete result through a sustained process.
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further to the east, north korea is readying a long-range ballistic missile launch over the east china sea. it comes just weeks after north korea agreed to a moratorium on testing, it violates multiple u.n. council resolutions. we all share a strong interest in stability on the curry and peninsula, and we will be discussing how best to achieve that as well. earlier today, our colleagues, which includes the united nations, represented by separate -- [inaudible] -- the russian federation, and the united states, represented by myself and are special envoys
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met to review the special situation in the middle east. we were briefed on jordan's recent engagement. the support was underscored about jordan's efforts. the goals that we outlined last september were talked about. we agreed on the importance of continued financial international support for the palestinian authority, including the need for $1.1 billion in immediate assistance. finally, we have begun discussing some of the transnational issues, terrorism, piracy, security, that affects so many people throughout the world. we are also going to be discussing our shared framework to support the democratic transitions and promote sustainable and inclusive
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economic growth to the partnership in the middle east and north africa. there is a lot for us to discuss, and we have a full agenda ahead of us. in preparation for the leader meeting at camp david next month. again, i welcome my colleagues and look forward to our work together. thank you all. [applause] >> major league baseball affiliate michael wiener talked today. >> before i get started, i'd like to knowledge some people who were kind enough to come today. first of all, union leader, bj
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surhoff. [applause] he had to leave the panel to handle a new orleans saints matter, i want to thank bob bruce, the executive director of major league soccer's association, general counsel to the ics view, general counsel of change to win, i'm also honored to knowledge the presence of mark pierce, chairman of national labor relations board. patricia smith, solicitor of labor, john mond, assistant secretary of labor. i proudly welcome as well, a longtime colleague and friend, virginia skaggs. inc. you all. thank you for attending this
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afternoon. for going on 24 years, i work for the union that represents major league baseball players. for going on 24 years, i have heard, that's great, michael, but it's not like you really work for you. you get to it hang out with baseball players. it is part of your job, and you have to go to the all-stars game and the world series every year. i will concede there are benefits to working for this union. [laughter] >> at the same time, it remains a real labor union. our members make more money than most. our guys have a higher public profile. the mlbpa does what we're supposed to do. we protect our members rights through collective bargaining.
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like the bargaining as an institution took somebody shouts over the past year. in wisconsin, most notably among other places, the right of public sector employees to bargain was blamed for the states fiscal defense. supporters contended that collective bargaining hamper job growth. the national labor board has been vilified for administering the federal labor statutes. in the sports world, nfl players abandoned their right to bargain collectively in the face of aggressive demands from their owners. fortunately, for all, that dispute was resolved without the loss of regular-season games. nba fans were not as fortunate. owners resulting in an on truncated season. five-year labor contracts were announced last november.
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a month before the previous deal ended. we had no strike, no threat of a work stoppage. why did collective bargaining succeed in baseball last year agreement how to baseball, the sport whose labor history is most contentions, manage to do this? some suggest a negotiation was inevitable, given the economic circumstances which we bargain. neither revenue nor profitability explained our results. coming into 2011, the nfl's annual revenue exceeded major league baseball. the nba's annual revenue lagged ours. but both leagues pick protective fights with their players. in the millionaires versus billionaires line, it takes us back to the 80s and 90s one every labor workforce included
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this. both admittedly profitable leagues in the nfl, and a reportedly unprofitable one in the nba had work stoppages in 2011. baseball's profitability fell between the two. moreover, each of the last three labor contracts of baseball were reached without a stoppage. one negotiated when the owners were suffering losses in 2002, one when they were enjoying substantial profits in 2006, and last year when the truth was in between. there was nothing preordained about bargaining during this round. as always, the union was prepared for a worst-case scenario. we had sufficient reserves in the bank, players save their money, we told players that why no one wanted a stoppage, they had to be ready for one coming. we have been roundly applauded for having achieved labor peace. but i will let you on a secret. labor peace was not our goal
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when we started bargaining. our list of objectives in bargaining generated over years of discussions with other players, included improved health care, pensions, higher minimum salary, better treatment of injured players, better salary arbitration and a whole host of others. labor peace was not on the list. neither was labor ward. we set out to achieve a fair deal for players. ideally, a good deal for players. [inaudible] leadership,. but the goal was a good deal. not a quick, easy, or penniless one. collective bargaining by design is an adversarial process. our negotiated contracts in 2007 were controversial.
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conversations were heeded, frustrations were expressed. meetings ended abruptly. people, players, owners, negotiators for both sides got angry. we didn't air our arguments publicly as we have done in the past, but that does not mean that we didn't argue. collective hardening in the end is about power. the federal law governing collective bargaining limits the exercise of that power, but not very much. there is plenty of room under the act to beat your counterpart into submission or destroy the industry. for years in baseball, the power struggle that is collective bargaining was defined by the owners of times to force their demand down a players throat. sometimes proved his tasteful and illegal means, sometimes not, through collusion and unfair labor practices. in 2011, that power struggle has
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manifested itself differently. it is still a power struggle. baseball owners desires have not changed. they want to pay players as little as possible, and control their services for as long as possible. that is understandable from the owner's perspective. what has changed is that baseball owners led by bud healey, have come to respect their bargaining adversary, the players. that was earned to the solidarity of players in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. that's solidarity, needed in a real sense in the spring of 1995, when the owners use replacement players throughout spring training to try to break the union and force things. not a single union member, not a single 40 man roster player across the line. that was then. the membership of our unions
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turns over very quickly. only a handful of players in 2011 were professionals during the 1994 to 1995 strike. each generation of players must justify the respect of their predecessors earned. we must remind the owners of the player's collective power every time we come to the bargaining table. that is why starting with the days of marvin miller, we should have insisted on direct player participation in the bargaining process. players formulate proposals for strategy, that might not come as a surprise. players can bargaining sections. we won't schedule such sessions and less players can be there. players actively participate. at any given meeting, the mlbpa negotiators are as likely to hear from important people as
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they are to hear from you. in 2011, it was extraordinary. even for argument, unprecedented. as for player leadership, we had a remarkably dedicated negotiating committee of 25 active layers. week after week of conference calls, they were responsible for developing and proving all of our major bargaining proposals. those negotiating committee members attended session after session. player participation extended to the full union membership. we had 238 different major league players attend negotiating sessions in 2011. 238 players. players and their first week in the majors and players with 20 years of major-league service. players whose tickets to cooperstown already had been punched, and players whose major league careers might not extend into 2012. players making the minimum
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salary and players making $20 million per year to players from every country represented in our bargaining. it was a tremendous show of force. in the power struggle that is collective bargaining, it is natural to gauge the strength of your counterpart. those 238 players, by their presence, provided an unmistakable answer to any owner who might have questioned when in 2011 the collective power of the players remained deserving of respect. collective bargaining changes when each side respects the power of the other. you have to try something else if you can't just push your counterpart around. if you want to change, you have to persuade them to give it to you or you have to fashion some compromise in which you trade for it. the most likely result of bargaining in that situation is a truth. a deal at or close to status quo. that might not be what is best
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for either party or for that industry, but that is what you are left with. our new collective bargaining agreement announced far more than a truce. it includes salary arbitration and the in the amateur draft, significant revisions in our revenue sharing, competitive service rules, a new structure for our division -- a new format proposed season play. enhanced health care coverage for international players and their families, in improved methods for former players and their widows, important changes in our joint agreement and dozens of other improvements in the working conditions of players. this negotiation touched more parts of our labor contracts than any other in which i have been involved in 24 years. none of those changes were made at a gunpoint. some resulted from persuasion. there were times when one side
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recognized the validity of the other's position, in acquiesce to a proposal. many changes resulted in compromise and creative compromise. one side or the other often expanded the scope of matters in discussion to create more flexibility, and more moving parts. to fashion a compromise. other changes resulted from the party identifying areas of mutual benefit. i cannot say this has never happened before in our bargaining, but only in bits and pieces. in 2011, we made agreements that were unimaginable in our past. in revenue sharing and health care and drug testing and most notably, perhaps, our new 1515 alignment. that happened only because each side was prepared to recognize a good idea when it appeared, no matter who presented it and no matter if that idea historically was associated with the other
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side. more than ever before, our bargaining was not just over how to resolve our differences, but how we could identify and further our common objectives. how did that happen? we avoided a work stoppage because of mutual respect for each side's collective strength. but why didn't we just default to a status quo deal? the answer again lies in respect, but respect here for the players idea, not just their muscle. i credit buck seelye, rod manfred, and owners in recognizing that the players are not just a force to be reckoned with, but that in area after area, the players, those 238 guys who showed up at the meeting, had good ideas about how to improve the game and the industry. it may seem obvious that the best players in the world and their representatives would have those ideas.
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it just hasn't been obvious before to baseball owners, and it certainly didn't seem obvious in the approach adopted last year by the nfl and the nba toward their players. the real success of bargaining in baseball over the last year was not just that we made a deal with no stoppage, but that we made agreements in scope and content that should benefit players, owners, fans, and all connected with the game for years to come. i'm now torn between prudence and opportunity. prudence tells a guy who has worked his entire professional career in baseball to limit his remarks to baseball. but on my other shoulder, opportunity tells me that i should at least try to relate baseball's bargaining success to the broader world. this is the national press club, after all, it is not the mike and mike show. so here goes. the economic downturn has placed
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tremendous stress on the already adversarial relationship between workers and their bosses. private-sector employees and employers face global competition. public sector relations have been caught in a vise of budgetary crisis. in both areas, a handy response has been to attack workers rights to organize and bargain collectively. to attempt to strip bargaining rights from public employees and to handicap private sector workers. it is unfair. in part because our current economic difficulties were not cost by america's working men and women. history counsels that such blame may be inevitable, but that doesn't make it fair. it is just not true that you disciplined state employees making $40,000 per year caused the present fiscal crisis. it is also unfair because the workers have the rights to organize and bargain, deprive
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them of the only realistic leverage that they had. it is okay, even laudable in this country, for political candidates or companies to have leverage because of their financial assets. it is okay in this country to obtain leverage through a successful push for legislative or regulatory advantage. why is it not acceptable for workers to exercise the only leverage that they possess? to act like the way. if you take are getting rights away from wisconsin schoolteachers or indiana factory workers, it leaves one side of the contest with no ability to compete. it has long been the public policy of this country that labor relations should be a fight. but never a one-sided fight. it is fundamentally unfair, particularly in this economic environment, to pass legislation that still allows that fight but reads it against working men and women. only collective bargaining
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allows workers a voice in the ongoing argument over their working semester. bargaining does not guarantee results, it doesn't guarantee that tensions will be preserved for that wages won't be reduced. under federal legislation on the books for over 70 years, our ability to bargain collectively is seen as a natural component of our economy. what is unnatural and counterproductive is the recent legislative efforts to strip workers of those rights. our country will not be revitalized by depriving workers of their voice. in 2011, baseball demonstrated collective bargaining can produce the progressive and productive agreement in each party respects both the power and the ideas of its counterpart. even in an economic environment as challenging as today, better results will flow from the
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bargaining process and from unilateral position by management. better ids will be generated with employees interests. we have proven in baseball that to collectively bargain innovations, such as the world baseball classic, agreements reached with the support from employees can be implemented more effectively and sufficiently as shown by our jointly administer drug program. unions can effectively and productively represent workers even in struggling industries. collective bargaining in times such as these may be difficult, adversarial, and contentious. but demonstrated in baseball, of all places, it is the surest path to mutually advantageous an path to mutually advantageous and enduring solutions. thank you, enjoy the season. it should be a great one.
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[applause] [applause] >> thank you, michael. [applause] [applause] >> can you believe that the collective bargaining agreement in baseball is the gold standard? have you been approached by other union leaders asking for vice? >> the leaders of the various sports unions cooperate on all kinds of matters, and the unions do as well, as evidenced by the presence of soccer players. i am more than occasionally talking with the hockey players association. who happen to be my boss for 20 some years. the industries different, and the sports are different. but we collaborate. >> you mention labor struggles in wisconsin. have you ever advise public sector union leaders? and mac and the people seek you out?
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>> i have not been present does not to try to get advice to somebody representing a public sector union. the nature of bargaining is very different. that we frequently are contacted by unions and their members through letters of support for assistance. our players, our members politically are all across the section, but when it comes to labor matters, they understand the importance of the unions, and we tried to support those unions every chance we can. >> you are heading into years of labor peace, but do you think people are more willing to negotiate because of what happened with the strike of 1994 and 1995? >> i don't know about more willing, that you can't understand our success in bargaining without understanding that history. as i've said before, we moved to a world where there was respect by both sides to the bargaining power of the adversaries. because what happened, in 1995.
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i don't think that you have the agreements that we have in made in 2006 or 2011, if the players had taken a stand back then. >> a couple of questions. wondering if fans were represented during the negotiations, either in meetings or collective bargaining. one person said it cost an average american family $300 or more to go to a baseball game. is this a direct result of the players salaries? >> there are a few questions smuggled in there. [laughter] >> we didn't have any fans on our negotiating committee unless you count the players themselves as fans. but i can tell you that the players, and we have representatives here, all the players that are sitting up here, as well as bj, our negotiating committee members as well. players are constantly thinking about the fans and public acceptance of the game. it shows itself in our negotiating over the schedule,
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drug testing program, throughout our negotiations. in terms of potential links between ticket prices and player salaries, i know there are a couple of distinguished economist in the room here today. ticket prices are set based on demand for those tickets. they really don't have anything to do with how much money the players get paid. >> you think the players union would ever agree to a lemonade the designated hitter and restore the game to the way was meant to be played? [laughter] [laughter] >> i don't know if their names on that one, that one could've come from my wife. [laughter] [laughter] >> who is known for doing so. [laughter] [laughter] >> let me say this. i have gotten a variant of that question frequently. neither the owners or players came to the bargaining table this time looking to change the
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rules regarding the designated hitter. even though we change the alignment of the leagues and postseason play. i think -- i don't think anybody would design industry where one set -- one league have one set of rules and the other has another. but i think that that compromise, if you will,. >> sapient sports has become a big issue at professional and amateur level. what is the mlbpa doing to address this issue in baseball? >> health and safety is a part of our negotiations as much as it has ever been. in addition to what we did in our joint drug program, and to just substance abuse and substance use by players, we negotiated over safety for batting helmets, we negotiated new protocols for treating, diagnosing can concussions. we negotiated over safer bats.
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there was a tremendous amount of negotiation over health and safety. i think that is a reflection, as i said before, of what bargaining can do. it allows people to really put their heads together to try to solve problems and what you can't do when it is a death match. >> why complainers only be required to take a blood test for human growth hormone. why not conduct random test like any other sport? >> again, there is a few questions smuggled in there. i think that the drug test and blood tests stands up with that in any other sport, including olympic sports. in terms of what we agree to as well, it is not only that our players can be tested for reasonable cause. that is true. all players were tested for blood during spring training of 2012. i dare to say that we had more blood collections i


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